What would it take for Bitcoin to become the world’s global Internet currency?
To become a global Internet currency, the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies would need to overcome the volatility, scalability, high transaction fees and speed issues that are, sadly, synonymous with Bitcoin today.
While it you can use Bitcoin for purchases, because of its volatility, Bitcoin is treated mostly as a store of value.
And because Bitcoin transactions are largely inefficient and expensive, using it for purchases makes no sense.
Bitcoin is also viewed as a hedge against other investments because it seems to be a non-correlated asset, when compared to stocks, and even gold.
Will Bitcoin Become the World’s Internet Currency?
It remains to be seen if Bitcoin can ever behave as a true currency.
A currency must be stable to be useful. Otherwise, how can you know what you are really paying for something?
It also must be accepted everywhere its users are. In other words, everyone must have a crypto “wallet”.
However, according to The Times of London, Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and CEO/founder of Square, recently made a bold statement…
He believes that in 10 years, the world will have a single, global Internet currency.
And he believes that currency will be Bitcoin.
Like other tech luminaries, he acknowledges that Bitcoin today is not only flawed, but also is flawed as a currency because of technical challenges.
In discussing “lightning” technology, Jed McCaleb, CTO and co-founder of the Stellar Development Foundation was quoted:
“Scalability is one of our primary focuses over the next year. Hype tends to exceed reality in blockchain space – visions are big. The thing is, the tech can’t actually realize what people want today.”
In addition to Twitter and Square, Dorsey is also an investor in a company called “Lightning Labs” that is designing technology to make Bitcoin transactions less expensive and more efficient.
Lightning Labs is building an “open protocol layer” leveraging the power of blockchains and smart contracts to enable cryptocurrency transactions.
The Lightning Labs team recently launched a beta product and hopes that lightning technology will make the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies “simpler, faster, safer and more ubiquitous.”
Making Bitcoin More User-Friendly
Bitcoin’s user base continues to grow.
However, making Bitcoin more user-friendly is key to enabling a global Internet currency.
Faster and cheaper micro-payments using cryptocurrencies across many use cases is just a start.
The SegWit implementation in August 2017 was one step forward in improving Bitcoin performance. SegWit allows blocks on the blockchain to contain 16x more transactions than usual. There are many more technical improvements for Bitcoin in the works, as you can read in this excellent article here.
However, user-friendliness may be invisible. Much like how the Internet works or how electricity works. It is predicted that much cryptocurrency transaction demand will be “built-in” to future technologies, including across the Internet of Things.
Much like an Internet connection, a camera or WiFi is built into many technologies today, the ability to transact may also be built into new tech as it is rolled out.
What do you think…?